Boris Johnson hoped that cracking down on MPs’ second jobs would win round the disgruntled Tory MPs in the north alienated by his woeful handling of the Owen Paterson situation. But he was sorely disappointed.
Johnson is losing friends in the north for several reasons. “The sleaze allegations are doing real damage,” one “red wall” Tory MP told me, adding: “‘One rule for us and another for everyone else’ has cut through.” These MPs are right to worry; Johnson’s appeal to former Labour voters was that he was “not a typical Tory”, as many described him. But the unlikely crusader against the establishment now looks like he has joined it.
Diluting his repeated promises on the northern part of HS2 and northern powerhouse rail was never going to “land well”, as the spin doctors put it.
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies